Why Investments in the First Five Years Work Best


Economic Returns on Investment


As states are under constant pressure to improve the efficient use of ever dwindling financial resources, any investment away from young children can be viewed as a diversion of resources from the most efficient use of those funds.”


James Heckman, PhD

Nobel Prize-winning economist at the University of Chicago


Investments in high-quality early childhood programs can provide multiple benefits for children and society resulting in very high rates of return on that investment. Nobel Laureate, James Heckman, calculates that high-quality programs for children birth through age four can deliver a 13% per year return on investment, and returns are greatest for the most at-risk children.

These high rates of return result from the significant gains that are realized through better outcomes in education, health, social behaviors and employment for children who have attended high quality early care and education programs.


Additional Resources:


The Heckman Equation Link Here

ReadyNation has commissioned two dozen research papers detailing both the economic benefits of early childhood investment, as well as ways of financing these programs. This work has validated the strong return on investment and economic value of quality early childhood programs. Link Here 


Federal Reserve Leaders on the Economic Value of High-Quality Early Childhood Education Link Here


The Case for Investing in Disadvantaged Children Link Here


The Rate of Return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program Link Here


Skill Formation and the Economics of Investing in Disadvantaged Children Link Here


Why Quality Childcare Matters Link Here